Press "Enter" to skip to content

Film Processing And Its Role In This Digital Age

Today, anyone has the freedom to share their special moments at the tip of their hands instantly. If before, people had to visit photo printing shops just to look back on a memorable moment, today, that’s not the case. All you need is a smartphone to provide you with the convenience of taking photos effortlessly.

Despite the beauty of instant photo sharing, there’s still a beauty in photo printing. More particularly, film processing. If you’re born in the early 1990s to 2000s, there’s a chance that you’ve come across film cameras. Cameras that use negative films to take photos that you then need to process to have a printed copy. 

If you still have your childhood photo albums, try to see if you still have the negative film copies of your printed shots. If you do, I suggest keeping the negative films so you can bring them for processing if you want copies of your photos. 

Today, not many people find film processing interesting. Some think it’s a waste of money and time to print photos when you can store them on a hard drive. That may be true, but it’s still different when you have a printed copy of your favourite shots. 

In this article, let’s look at the role of film processing in today’s digital age.


1. To produce copies of rare negative films.

Many historians value antique negative films. Indeed, film cameras have an essential role and impact on world history. Photo-taking and writing were their ways of sharing their experiences back when the world was internet-free. 

Today, researchers use negative films to produce copies of rare photographs. Once they process it, they enhance the photo to study its subject. After enhancements, the details of the film photograph become clearer. 

Depending on the type of photograph, people would usually share it with experts for further analysis. People can then use it to understand parts of history that still seem to be a blur in this day and age. 


2. To print photos that are valuable in the arts industry and history. 

Aside from paintings, photographs are valuable in the arts industry. People list them on the market for thousands to millions of dollars — depending on their history. The rarer the photo is, the more expensive they’ll be. 

Some printed photographs tend to have poor quality. Usually, they’re prone to fading, scratches, and tearing despite keeping them well. If you don’t have its negative film copy, the photo can be gone for life. 

As a result, many historians keep the negative film copy of antique photos. Having the negative film copy means you’ll always have the original version. Despite losing the printed copy, you can always bring your film for processing to have another one. 

Art and photography collectors are willing to pay thousands to millions of dollars just to have a copy of a rare photograph. Particularly for photos that have a deep history. 


3. To practise their skills in photography. 

Even though many digital cameras exist, many starting photographers find it different to learn skills using film cameras. Many photographers believe that mastering how to use film cameras truly sets your skills apart. 

Aside from that, photography enthusiasts say that the joy of processing your films is incomparable. Many of them were practising numerous times just to get the perfect shot. Photographers need to learn how to adjust lighting, aperture timing, and more when using film cameras. 

The difference between digital cameras and film cameras is that you have to adjust your settings manually. Moreover, you have to be careful with every shot that you take. Since you only have a limited number of films, you have to make each click count. 

Even though using film cameras seems too old school, the photography and developing process makes it a fun and rewarding art for many photographers. 


4. To recreate the dreamy aesthetics that film photos emanate. 

Even though there are now many digital applications that you can use to edit a photo, a film camera’s aesthetic is still different. Now that we live in an age where sharing photos online has become a way of updating our lives, most of us strive to curate our profiles in the best way possible. 

Over the years, photo themes went through phases until people rediscovered the beauty of film cameras again. Today, many young photographers are rediscovering the essence and uniqueness of film cameras. Many are using them again for personal use and even for professional work purposes. 

The arts industry is also reliving old aesthetic themes from the 90s, making film cameras in demand. 


5. To study the history of photography.

If you major in a photography course, you likely use film cameras to study the art of photo-taking. Many people who love photography are looking to learn about film processing because of its immersive process. 

Aside from learning tricks on how to shoot with film cameras, they also understand the intricacy of film processing. As a result, many starting photographers are looking into starting their dark rooms where they can master the art of film processing. 

With film processing, many people get to understand the roots of photography. Learning about slow art processes also helps us to appreciate photography’s beauty. It’s nice to look back and learn how the things that we can do easily now started. Indeed, we’re lucky to have the convenience of digital photo taking while learning about the art of film processing as well.


Film processing is still evident today despite the digital high. 

The five points I shared prove how film processing is still evident today. It’s nice how we, the generation that relies on digital methods, strive to learn more about the past. Whether it is about photography or not, learning about the beginnings of the things that we enjoy today is astounding. 

After all, we learn and improve by looking back. Hopefully, more people will appreciate and learn more about film processing to celebrate the beauty of photography art today. 


About the author:

Bianca Banda is a writer for DS Colour Labs Ltd (DSCL), a professional photography lab that offers a vast range of products and services for photo and print needs.


Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.